How do I clean my tile grout that has shade/color variation?


I’ve moved into a condominium unit and the entire living area has ceramic tile. However, the grout around various areas of the floor very in grout color. From an off white (which I would love to keep) to a somewhat dark grey. Is there any way or product to use to clean the grout so the grout can look somewhat uniform in color? Thank you.


ANSWER - Cementitious grout is porous and more susceptible to staining and shade variation than an epoxy or urethane grout.

It is possible that the difference in grout color could be just shade variation from the way it was installed.  If grout dries at different rates or if excessive water is used during the installation it could pull color pigment out of the grout.  The only way to fix this condition is to use a grout colorant that is an epoxy where you can paint all of the grout joints with it.  It comes in many different colors and will act as a sealer.  It is a tedious job to apply it and it has to be done per the manufacturers' directions.

It is also possible the gray color grout is a stain from how the floor has been maintained.  Often grout on floor tiles when installed is one color, and eventually it turns gray.  This is because people will use mops to clean the floor and they don't change their mop water frequent enough or pick up the dirty water with a wet/dry vacuum or rinse the floor with clean water.  So they end up leaving dirty water on the floor that evaporates letting the dirt absorb into the grout.   It can be cleaned by using a neutral detergent or one of the tile cleaning solutions with a scrub brush on an extended handle.  Let the cleaning solution absorb into the grout for 5 minutes or so, then scrub, then pick up with a wet/dry vacuum, then rinse with clean water using scrub brush, and then pick up with wet/dry vacuum.  Then you can buff the floor dry with a lint free cloth. Let the tile floor and grout dry thoroughly, and then apply a penetrating sealer over the grout and tile.  Immediate wipe it dry with a lint free cloth to make sure none of the wet sealer remains on the tile surface.

For links to companies who produce and sell tile cleaners and sealers click on the following link:  Cleaners and Sealers.

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